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In U.S., Hi-Def TV Household Penetration Tops 23%
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In U.S., Hi-Def TV Household Penetration Tops 23%

Almost one-quarter of all U.S. television households (23.3%) own a high definition TV set as of Nov. 30, Nielsen reported Thursday.

Nielsen’s estimates are based on a field staff review that identified TV sets capable of receiving and displaying high definition pictures, as well as those that are actually receiving those signals.

High definition TV penetration in the U.S. has more than doubled since July 2007, when Nielsen began tracking HDTV status.  At that time, only 10% of U.S. homes had access to high definition TV.

Month/Year % of U.S. Households

With HDTV

November 2008 23.3%
October 2008 22.2%
September 2008 21.3%
August 2008 20.4%
July 2008 19.6%
June 2008 18.9%
May 2008 18.1%
April 2008 17.1%
March 2008 16.2%
February 2008 15.3%
January 2008 14.5%
December 2007 13.5%
November 2007 12.8%
October 2007 12.1%
September 2007 11.3%
August 2007 10.5%
July 2007 10.0%
Source: The Nielsen Company (July 1, 2007 – November 30, 2008).

Washington, D.C., where 31.1% of homes are HDTV-enabled, has the highest HDTV penetration of Nielsen’s 18 largest local TV markets.  Boston and New York follow, with HDTV penetrations of 30.5% and 30.2%, respectively.  Detroit has the lowest HDTV penetration: 20.9% of homes.

Top 18

Nielsen Local TV

Markets

% Households In Market

With HDTV

(November 2008)

Washington, DC (Hagerstown) 31.1%
Boston (Manchester) 30.5%
New York 30.2%
Seattle-Tacoma 29.8%
Philadelphia 29.1%
Los Angeles 28.9%
Chicago 27.0%
Phoenix 26.9%
San Francisco-Oak-San Jose 26.8%
Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) 26.7%
Denver 26.4%
Atlanta 25.7%
Dallas-Ft. Worth 25.0%
Houston 23.7%
Cleveland – Akron 23.6%
Minneapolis – St. Paul 21.6%
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 21.4%
Detroit 20.9%
Total U.S. 23.3%
Source: The Nielsen Company (November 30, 2008).

Sporting events have the highest index of viewing in HDTV households, with HDTV receivable and capable homes watching 54% more sports than households that are not HDTV capable.  Political programming and awards shows are also popular with HDTV households.

View the full press release.

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings on Contentinople.com and in Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News, and Media Post,